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If you were given URM advantage, would you take it?

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Author Topic: Poll - If you were given URM advantage, would you take it?  (Read 13162 times)

Trevor

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Re: Poll - If you were given URM advantage, would you take it?
« Reply #60 on: January 17, 2005, 05:47:10 PM »
You don't need to take advantage of any opportunities, it's just that you would be foolish not to.  I certainly hope I don't have to justify the proposition that people are allowed to pursue their own self-interest.  I mean, yes, you could turn them down, but you don't have to, so why the asceticism?

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Re: Poll - If you were given URM advantage, would you take it?
« Reply #61 on: January 17, 2005, 06:26:48 PM »
i think you would be an absolute moron not to take it.

i would GLADY take any top-14 acceptance any way i can get one.  i have no shame, if i got in because of connections i would be perfectly fine.  you have to take advantage of every opportunity you are given if you want to succeed.

I agree with casa, there would be NOTHING keeping me from taking it



Well I'm glad somebody said it.  There it is!!!  Therein lies the true driving force behind many of these AA debates. Nothing against Casa or Sgee, I'm sure you guys are great, but I'm focussing on this one statement of mentality that is the primary driving force for many when debating AA. 

Any edge, by any means necessary. 

The flaw is that being a minority is not something as simple as a box on an application. I'm not faulting you guys for making this statement, in fact I'm glad you said it.  I am faulting those who apply this statement when looking at minorities in relation to the application process.

Those who apply this statement to the admissions process for minorities have made an error of inductive reasoning, ironically, that the normal test taker would be able to spot on an LSAT exam.  It takes something as complex as being a minority in America, reduces it to something as simple as an "edge" for law school admissions, and then takes that miseducated view and applies it to a widesweaping allegation that minorities have an unfrair "advantage" when it comes to admissions.

Somebody recognized earlier in this thread somewhere that if you had to REMAIN a minority in order to "check the box" then they would have to reconsider...

I commend that individual for taking the time to actually think about what it means to truly be a minority in America.  What good does it do you to get into a law school if you cannot get a job after you graduate from that school?  What "advantage" do you have in a law firm of 500+ lawyers where there are literally 0 partners that look like you or who would even consider you based on your merits?  http://nalpdirectory.com/

Without even getting into the AA debate, I think you can begin to appreciate that when you place these things on the scales, recieving a potential "bump" in law school admissions at some law school doesn't even begin to compare with how  you will be limited for the rest of your life.  Even if minorities were given preferences over every white applicant to every law school in the nation, which of course is rediculous, it would be about as beneficial as giving a man in a wheel chair a preference for a new pair of shoes.  Of course many of you would "do anything" to get your hands on those Top 14 shoes, but for the minority students, new shoes are not going to help out a whole lot when you have to push yourself around in a wheelchair for the rest of your life. 

But enough of that, you guys are all educated, you see the point of the anaology.

Its hard for all of us to see things from the other side.  Those who cannot empathize often ridicule what does not effect them or what they do not understand or have to understand.  Notice I've avoiding making any statments about AA, SES AA, whatever.  For whatever you believe on those topics, that's completely up to you and I'm not here to try to change your mind.  My only hope is that we all take 5 minutes, step back, and look at the larger picture of what it is we're actually debating here, because its all relative.  Law school preferences come in ALL SHAPES AND SIZES.  Minority status is only one drop in the bucket, yet we carry on like it is the ONLY drop in the bucket.

So everybody try to relax and think about that for a minute.  Good luck in your application process.  It is a tough process no matter WHO you are.
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Re: Poll - If you were given URM advantage, would you take it?
« Reply #62 on: January 17, 2005, 06:31:52 PM »
You don't need to take advantage of any opportunities, it's just that you would be foolish not to.  I certainly hope I don't have to justify the proposition that people are allowed to pursue their own self-interest.  I mean, yes, you could turn them down, but you don't have to, so why the asceticism?

The premise that "people are allowed to pursue their self-interest" is circular and can be used to justify anything, including murder. In my opinion, by itself, its not a useful proposition.
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Re: Poll - If you were given URM advantage, would you take it?
« Reply #63 on: January 17, 2005, 06:38:00 PM »
You don't need to take advantage of any opportunities, it's just that you would be foolish not to.  I certainly hope I don't have to justify the proposition that people are allowed to pursue their own self-interest.  I mean, yes, you could turn them down, but you don't have to, so why the asceticism?

The premise that "people are allowed to pursue their self-interest" is circular and can be used to justify anything, including murder. In my opinion, by itself, its not a useful proposition.

You should read 'The Virtue of Selfishness' by Ayn Rand.
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Re: Poll - If you were given URM advantage, would you take it?
« Reply #64 on: January 17, 2005, 06:48:14 PM »
You should read 'The Virtue of Selfishness' by Ayn Rand.

Reading a book about a proposition does not necessarily make it more useful. I still submit that the premise "people are allowed to pursue their self-interest" is circular and can be used to justify anything, including murder. In my opinion, by itself, its not a useful proposition.
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Trevor

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Re: Poll - If you were given URM advantage, would you take it?
« Reply #65 on: January 17, 2005, 07:54:55 PM »
Look, if you want to argue that a person's every action should be altruistic, by all means proceed.  I am assuming for the purposes of the previous discussion, however, that so long as thier actions don't violate any specific moral rules, people can and should do what they want.  Since we are agreed that opponents of affirmative action have no duty to decline admissions they get because of URM, then we say that they can accept those offers.

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Re: Poll - If you were given URM advantage, would you take it?
« Reply #66 on: January 17, 2005, 07:58:22 PM »
Look, if you want to argue that a person's every action should be altruistic, by all means proceed.  I am assuming for the purposes of the previous discussion, however, that so long as thier actions don't violate any specific moral rules, people can and should do what they want.  Since we are agreed that opponents of affirmative action have no duty to decline admissions they get because of URM, then we say that they can accept those offers.

This is our point of disagreement. In my opinion, it is immoral to choose to accept benefit from a system which you are critical of. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree at this point.
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maricutie

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Re: Poll - If you were given URM advantage, would you take it?
« Reply #67 on: January 18, 2005, 10:30:18 AM »
Quote
In my opinion, it is immoral to choose to accept benefit from a system which you are critical of.


Well, then you should have been more specific.  "If you ARE an URM AND you disagree with AA, would you take the advantage conferred?"

But even THEN: what does it really mean to be for or against AA? I, for one, don't agree with AA's disproportionate focus on race to the detriment of economic status. I also don't agree with the occasional huge boost that an AA beneficiary gets. Does that make me "against AA"? Heck no. It just makes me want to press for reforms in that system, and not 100% happy with the way things are running now. There's a gray area here, and I think this is where most people would fit in.

SleepyGuyYawn

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Re: Poll - If you were given URM advantage, would you take it?
« Reply #68 on: January 18, 2005, 11:02:30 AM »
Okay, I can't possibly read all the posts so far, but I'll reply to the OP.

Whether I would take it would depend entirely on whether I thought there was discrimination.  If I had some good reason, or a strong gut feeling, or even thought that the situation was just too weird, then I wouldn't take the job.  I'm being quite honest here.

But if I thought that the reason could be something else... Perhaps I thought the reason could be that the employer wanted somebody who had ties to the local area (a common thing in getting legal jobs).  Let's suppose that I was trying to get a job in a small law firm in Pittsburgh and the firm hired me, but I thought the reason was that I had just graduated from Pitt Law School and I'd grown up in Pittsburgh.  And the other person was more qualified in one way -- that they perhaps had a higher GPA in LS and perhaps they got their law degree from Cornell.  Then even though the other guy was more qualified, the firm might be making a better choice to hire me... b/c perhaps they've hired people without local ties before and found that they never stick around. 

Or perhaps the small law firm would want somebody from, say, Duquesne, instead of somebody from Cornell, because they want somebody who comes out of law school with a less theoretical and more practical knowledge of the law. 

Here's my point: It's really, really hard to know for sure that one applicant is more suited to the job than another.  It truly can happen that one applicant is more qualified in a quantitative sense (ranking of the law school, class rank, etc.), but it can turn out that another person fits the job better.  That's what bothers me about trying to tell law schools that they can't engage in AA.  You're basically then telling them that the quantitative qualifications are the only ones that matter.  But the law school has to form a class that's best for the school -- that suits the needs of the school and the existing students.  Their needs may very well be to have more people with diverse points of view, just as the small law firm has specific needs.

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Re: Poll - If you were given URM advantage, would you take it?
« Reply #69 on: January 18, 2005, 11:19:50 AM »
Quote
In my opinion, it is immoral to choose to accept benefit from a system which you are critical of.


Well, then you should have been more specific.  "If you ARE an URM AND you disagree with AA, would you take the advantage conferred?"

Because as it's currently phrased, there are many different interpretations for non-URMs.

1.  Would you lie to get any advantage?  Clearly, some would.  That's why they fingerprint you at the LSAT.

2.  Would you become a URM if you could?  Only an idiot would agree to that. 

3.  What if the world was turned upside down and suddenly white people were the URMs?  Interesting, but very hard to imagine such a hypothetical.

AA puts it delicately when it says the goal is to "correct historical imbalances."  What they mean is that dumb white guys who were connected and/or rich used to get the benefit of the doubt we now assign to URMs.  Being a legacy is another advantage.  Black folks generally don't get to take advantage of that one because (surprise?) their parents and grandparents generally didn't go to college or professional school.  Weren't even allowed to apply, no matter how qualified.

As with the equality of women, this may take a while to sort itself out.  A famous feminist said (and I know I'm butchering the quote) "We will know we have reached equality when there are as many mediocre women in Congress as there are mediocre men."

I wanted to hear from everyone, including those who support AA and would gladly take advantage of it.
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